the arts


If it's June, this must be our Edison

By Robert Faires, Fri., June 4, 2010


Every month brings a new honor for local choral wonder Conspirare. In May, it was an award from service organization Chorus America that supports the choir's commission of a new work for 16-part chamber chorus by Seattle composer Eric Banks. This delicate universe will use five poems by Greek-Egyptian poet Constantine Cavafy as the basis for an a cappella song cycle in English and Greek. This month, it's a 2010 Edison Award – the Grammy of the Netherlands – for Conspirare's Grammy-nominated CD, Requiem, released in the U.S. in 2008 but in Europe just last year.

Could there be a downside to all these prizes? Only that these two are both being presented the same day. On Friday, June 18, Chorus America will present the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award at its conference in Atlanta, while across the Atlantic in Scheveningen, the Edison Foundation will hand out its awards in a ceremony broadcast live on Dutch television.

Where in the world will Conspirare Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson be? On the 18th, we can't say, but we know where he'll be this week and next: leading Conspirare in the Duruflé Requiem and the J.S. Bach Mass in B Minor. The former will be sung Saturday, June 5, 8pm, at University Presbyterian Church, 2203 San Antonio; the latter, Sunday, June 13, 7pm, in Dell Hall at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside. For more information, visit www.conspirare.org.

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